Tag: rumors

Is Google Not Working on Constructing Smart Homes Anymore?

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At the Consumer Electronics Show last year, products were introduced that would integrate with Apple’s smart home platform. These smart products included light bulb adapters, power outlets, door locks and more. Google announced similar innovations in smart home technology last year as well. This got consumers excited and craving for updates on this technology at this year’s electronics show. Unfortunately, there weren’t many people talking about Google’s smart home system; nicknamed Brillo and Weave. At the 2016 CES, there were some smart products from this system shown like the security camera, printer, oven, scanner, speaker, door locks and light bulbs. These products were manufactured by big named tech company partners, like Philips, LG Asus and HP.

LG is actually the biggest partner of Google’s smart home system. They had a washer and dryer, air conditioner, security camera, wireless speakers and a refrigerator on display at the CES. So what’s the problem? Well there was no mention from Google or its tech partners about when these items will be released or what the progress is on their development. During LG’s press conference, Brillo and Weave were talked about for three minutes by Google’s Vice President. But there were no specifics on the new platform.

Just so you understand, Brillo is the software that gets programmed into these smart devices. It is basically like the operating system of them which is similar to how Android is an operating system to smartphones. As for Weave, this is the special programming language that allows the various smart devices to speak to one another. What is interesting is that devices don’t need to have Brillo installed in them in order to speak Weave to each other. This makes Weave the most important programming feature of these smart devices. In fact, it can even help these devices to communicate with apps for your smartphone, whether they are iOS apps or Android apps.

Perhaps, Google is focusing on other projects at the moment and hasn’t made any new advancement with Brillo and Weave. Either that or they may be looking to create something that will blow people away. You should check back at next year’s CES to see if Google introduces updates on this awesome smart home system. Since smart technology is growing to all types of products, it is safe to say that smart devices for homes will gain more attention sooner or later as they become more developed and tested.

iPad mini 2 rumors

The launch of iPad mini 2 is some months away, but as it always is, the rumor mill is spinning. Let’s take a closer look at what’s buzzing.

iPad mini 2 leaked images

iPad mini 2 leaked images

Design of new iPad mini 2 isn’t expected to change this year. Apple is happy with it as it is rumored to be used on new ipad 5 as well. Some rumors suggest even slimmer side-bezels.

iPad mini 2 will feature 7.9-inch Samsung-made IGZO Retina display with 2048 x 1536 pixels and 324 ppi pixel density. The Retina display will most likely cause bump in thickness to 7.5 mm.

The operating software on new iPad mini is almost certainly going to be Apple’s newest iOS 7. This means AirDrop, iTunes Radio and other new features.

READ: iOS 7 features

Hardware-wise iPad mini 2 is to feature dual-core Apple A6X chip, a significant bump from current A5 processor. Other rumors suggest a quad-core A7 processor.

The storage is rumored to remain capped at 64 GB with 16GB and 32GB options. The iPad 4 now comes with 128GB, but this storage option isn’t expected to be available for the mini 2. The RAM is to stay at 1GB.

Connectivity may be upped by NFC and some rumors suggest wireless charging. 4G LTE connectivity will be optional starting at $459 for 16GB model. There are few wishful thinkers on the net thinking Apple will sell their base WiFi models of iPad mini 2 at $250 level, but I would disagree.

Here is why. Retina costs money. DigiTimes reckons the cost of making iPad mini will jump by whole $12 with inclusion of Retina display. This would bring the costs to some $200. Apple’s profit margins range between 43 and 56 percent. Apple is known to produce tier-one products at premium price. Tablet profit margins are kept high by Apple, so the lowest I imagine Apple would go with iPad mini 2 is $279 for the 16GB model. Although, the price for the 1st generation iPad mini is likely to drop.

iSight will be a bit more useful with improved 8 megapixel rear camera. The FaceTime camera up front will be of 2 megapixels.

Both iPad mini 2 and rumored iPad 5 are to enter production in fall. Launch of both is to be in October, but on a different date than rumored iPhone 5S.

Perhaps not coincidentally, both iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 will feature the same 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution to make the developing of apps easier.

To compare these rumors, here are the current iPad mini specs.

iPhone 5S rumors roundup

iPhone mini and iPhone 5S

The next iPhone should resemble similar technology jump we have seen in iPhone 4S. The form factor and size are likely to remain the same. We’re not expecting display, storage options, or the price to change either. There is a lot of buzz however about new iOS 7, new processor, better cameras, and long anticipated and much desired improved audio.


The operating system is likely to be renewed. Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, Jony Ive is reportedly working on overhauling the entire iOS 7, which is already showing up in Google Analytics. There are no details available at the moment, but we’ll hold on tight to this one.

Audio

Beats audio worked well for HTC and Apple is no doubt working on improving their much neglected audio on iPhones.

Display

The display rumors clash in possible upgrades of Retina+ LCD for IGZO display with 1704 x 960 pixels

Processor

The internals will make a difference in the new iPhone 5S. A6X, or possibly the rumored A7 may run things on the new iPhone. More likely, it will be A6X chip currently running on iPad 4 as A7 is strongly rumored to be included on the iPhone 6 scheduled for 2014. Given Apple’s history the processor will be clocked at lower speeds and with less cores than chips on competing handsets. Apple is well versed in optimisation algoritms to achieve same and superior performances.

Samsung’s contract with Apple regarding making A-series chips is about to expire. When it does, Apple has Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) lined-up to make new 20-nanometer A7 chips. Apple has also been in close contact with Intel lately, suggesting moving from ARM architecture. If this is true, we should expect a more powerful battery. In any case Samsung’s Exynos Octa 5 is a superb processor that is much desired and Apple will want to make sure its own chips match up and supersede Octa 5.

Camera

The current camera is sufficient, but Apple may spruce it up with higher pixel count. A 13, or 14 megapixel camera with same 30 fps and video recording of 1080p HD quality. Front facing Face Time camera is likely to be improved as well.

PatentlyApple explains:

‘In personal electronic devices executing such handheld and/or mobile videoconferencing applications, it may be desirable to adjust exposure parameter values gradually, so as to reduce video oscillations causing visually jarring effects on the device’s preview screen due to rapidly changing brightness levels. However, adjusting the exposure parameter values too gradually can cause the video encoder to make inaccurate temporal predictions, resulting in poor quality video streams over a large number of frames. ‘

Battery

The battery was unchanged between 4, 4S and 5 models. iPhone 5S is likely to see an improvement in this area. NFC and fingerprint reader are also rumored to be included in the next iPhone.

Security

As a security feature a new “kill-switch” may be built-in making the device unusable when activated. Although it sounds very useful, I doubt that Apple will venture into this area for simple enough reason. Many sales are made, because people lose iPhones, or get them stolen. Some carriers already offer blocking devices when reported stolen and Apple’s support would make stealing of iPhones much less profitable.

iphone 5s colors

iPhone 5S isn’t the only iPhone up for launch this year. There are in fact three, or more  iPhones rumored to combat the overwhelming competition imposed by android devices. The key to slicing a larger smartphone market share is variety in sizes and price points. Samsung has antire lineup of small budget smartphones like S5770 Mini Galaxy, all the way to flagship Galaxy S IV and phablet Galaxy Note II.

Other iPhone versions

Apple will likely follow this with 4.8-inch iPhone Math, then another iPhone featuring 12 megapixel camera. Other names being kicked around are “iPhone +”, “iPhone Mini” and “iPhone Max”. Screen sizes have grown in last 12 months, so launching and iPhone phablet or Max is certainly a good idea.

Much anticipated is of course the plastic budget iPhone with no physical home button and variety of color iterations.

Connectivity

Broadcom 43342 WiFi combo chip (a/b/g/n, BT, FM) is rumored to be used on new iPhone. Another rumor claims Broadcom BCM4360 5G WiFi processor with 3-stream 802.11ac reaching the speeds of up to 1.3 Gbps is already in production. IEEE 802.11ac enables speeds of up to 6 times that of 802.11n WiFi. This chip enables “Near Instantaneous Data Synch”, better range, and more stable operation.

The 5G LTE chip would of course be only as fast as the network on which it runs and there aren’t many rumors covering that, so I wouldn’t attach too much weight to this one.

Apple has showcased their new 5G Gigabit WiFi 802.11ac at CES in January so the technology is there and hopefully we’ll see some major improvement in our wireless ecosystem.

Curious thing to note is that, whatever technological advancements new iPhone 5S is going to feature, it was most likely designed under late Steve Jobs. As Apple analyst, Horace Dediu said,

“Having worked in a phone company I think it’s a given. Work under way now is for products shipping in 2016.”

Expected launches fall in June and October. iPhone 5S and hopefully plastic budget iPhone (or other iPhone versions) are likely to be launched on June 20th.

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